Location and Asset Associations

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The music is called Busy City from a group called TrackTribe.

Hello, and welcome back to Maximo Bite Size. A series of videos on the functional aspects of Maximo Manage.


Good morning, my name is Andrew Jeffery, and this is the ninth episode in the series on Asset Management. Today we will be discussing the different types of associations you find in the Locations and Assets applications. If you are finding these videos useful, then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel.

Learning Objectives

The Location and Assets applications have a set of actions which associate the location or asset with another entity in Maximo. Often these actions will be found in the List tab and can be applied to multiple locations or assets. I find that many of these actions remain unused by clients, they won’t all be relevant, but you might find some of them are.

We’ll start by looking at the association of a location or asset with a person and the action Associate Users and Custodians. We’ll then look at the three associations which are sometimes used, Associate Services, Associate Inspection Forms and Associate Work Zones. Finally, the one which I have never come across, but which may be more common in countries like USA, Canada and Australia, Associate Time Zones. 

There is a lot to go through, and the video is likely to be a long one. You will find that the YouTube video does have timestamps and chapters and so you can go directly to the section that you will be most interested in.

So, let’s get started.

Associate Users and Custodians

We’ll start by considering why you might wish to link a person with a location or asset, the obvious reason is ownership. The Associate Users and Custodians feature was introduced when Maximo was addressing the handling of IT assets, the user or custodian would be the owner of a PC or laptop. But it is still relevant to non-IT environments. Facilities teams may reference the custodian of an office or desk. Utility teams may reference the supervisor that manages the assets in an area. Sometimes you might want to associate people to locations or assets simply to make it easier for users to find the locations and assets that they work on the most often. This is more common with locations in the primary hierarchy, implying that the associated person also works on the descendent locations and assets. For example, for facility managers who associate an engineer or technician with the shops and offices where they may receive a call-out.

How you use the User and Custodians feature is up to you, but don’t be put off by the term thinking I have no users or custodians of my assets or what does that mean is conjunction with a location? Simply, the action is used for any reason for linking a person to a location or asset, and in the case of assets it can also be a reason for linking a person group. For whatever reasons you decide to use this feature, do consider the maintenance of the data. Clients typically have thousands of locations and assets; therefore, you do need to consider how you go about not only creating the associations but maintaining them afterwards – and whether, in the end, value will be derived from making these associations. Bear in mind also, that if you use this feature, say for assets, you needn’t use it for all asset types, it may only be relevant for some. 

We are in the Assets application and the Associate Users and Custodians action opens a dialog with two table windows, Users and Custodians and Associate Group . In the Locations application you will find that the action will have the top table window but not the ability to associate multiple Person Groups.

For each person selected as an association you need to decide whether they are a Custodian, User or both a Custodian and User, and this decision will be based on the reasons why you decided to use this feature. The main place in Maximo where this feature is used is in the Service Requests application where the default filter on a location or asset field is where the affected user is a user or custodian of the location or asset. On the Self-Service Service Requests application, the location and asset fields show the locations and assets for which the affected user has been associated, this is normally the person who is logged in, this makes it easy for end-users to select the right location or asset. Users and Custodians is not a default filter for work orders.

Incidentally on a Service Request if you are not filtering by User/Custodian then the other options are Public or All, and Public means any location or asset that has no user or custodian record. You can configure the default setting for Service Requests by changing the default value for the attribute ASSETFILTERBY in Database Configuration, the default is USERCUST surrounded with explanation marks (!USERCUST!).

One of the associated people must be marked as the Primary person , and normally this is used to indicate responsibility, but in some industries, it may be ownership based. The person must be first registered in Maximo using the People application which is found in the Administration – Resources module. One of the User or Custodian fields must also be marked, you cannot use Primary and leave these two fields empty.

For assets there is the ability to associate multiple Person Groups, a team, for which one Person Group must be designated as primary .

In the People application you can use the ‘View Related Assets and Locations’ action to view but not modify the associations with a location or asset for which the person is a user or custodian. This is most often used when the person is changing jobs or leaving the organisation. There is no action in Person Groups to view the related assets, but you can search in the Assets application for all assets associated with a Person Group from the More Search Fields dialog.

The changing of users and custodians for multiple records is achieved in the Assets application through the Move/Modify Assets action and Users and Custodians tab, this is operating on the selected set of assets. There are two sub tabs Modify Selected and Modify All. The difference is that Modify Selected allows you to make different changes to each selected asset, by making that asset record active in the Assets table window. The Modify All tab will make the change for all assets in the Assets table window. There is no ability to mass modify the Users and Custodians on the Locations application.

You might notice when looking at the details area of the table windows mentioned throughout this section that there is a section called Planned Modifications. This is used by the Move/Swap/Modify action in work order based applications like Work Order Tracking. It will allow you to plan the user and custodian changes and then execute them later. It featured as part of the functionality to manage IT Change and Release processes.

Associate Services

You use services to define a structure that underpins Service Management in Maximo. Most maintenance departments provide services to an operations team, but they may not recognise this as service management.

The Service Groups application allows you to define a two-level hierarchy of service groups and services that you provide to clients or customers, whichever term you prefer, whether they are internal or external to your organisation. It is the Service Groups and Services marked as PROVIDE or BOTH which are used by the Associate Services action, and not the service groups/services which are marked with a type of PROCURE, these are used when you purchase services. Service Items are not used when you provide services, only when you procure services.

The Service Groups application is found in the Service Level module, and it has an action called Associate Assets and Locations which you can see in the top right of the screen. This allows you to associate multiple assets, locations or asset types with a service group or service. With a service the action will be found in the detail’s menu of the Service field.

The action Associate Services found in the Locations and Assets applications and seen in the bottom left of the screen, can only be used on the current record, and will therefore be used for viewing its associated services or making changes.

Service Groups and their Service Codes provide a reporting layer for service management, reaching across several applications, Service Requests, Work Orders, Locations, Assets, Asset Types, Service Level Agreements, Contracts and Configuration Items. You can view all the related data using the Service Groups actions – View Related Records and View Related Records for Service.

But why associate locations, assets, or asset types with services? The performance of the services you provide is measured through Service Level Agreements or Key Performance Indicators, therefore, if a service is failing you need to know the assets, locations and asset types that underpin that service and which of those assets and locations is the biggest cause for the failing service. Making the association between services and locations and assets will help you to address service management issues when they arise. 

Associate Inspection Forms

An Inspection Form is the electronic equivalent of a paper form for an inspection. It typically contains many questions with selectable answers, text, numeric and date entries, meter readings and the ability to upload files, for example photos, videos, and voice recordings. The inspection form can contain groups of questions and one answer may raise an additional set of questions conditionally. A library of inspection forms is created using the Work Center application Manage Inspection Forms. Inspection Forms can be associated with a Job Plan, a Route Stop, or several places in the Work Order Tracking application.

You use the Associate Inspection Form action in the Locations and Assets applications to indicate the recommended set of inspection forms for the location or asset. This is particularly important if you wish mobile inspectors to be able to easily find the right inspection form if they are going to perform an unscheduled inspection. If there are no associations, then there may be hundreds of inspection forms to review to find the right one.

You can use the Associate Inspection Form action from the List tab to make the association on multiple records in one action. There is no ability to associate the set of Inspection Forms that you wish to associate with a single location or asset, each inspection form needs to be associated one at a time.

The association of Inspection Forms with locations and assets is used in the Routes and Work Order Tracking applications from the Select Value in the Inspection Form field, as shown on the right. The dialog that opens has two table windows, the top one shows the Recommended Forms , those where an association has been made with the location or asset, and below this is a table window called Other Forms , those not associated with a location or asset. In both cases the associated forms will have a status of Active.

The same dialog is available from a button called Select Inspection Form in the Create Unscheduled Inspection action in the Locations and Assets applications. You can also toggle between Recommended Inspection Forms and other forms when you are in the Conduct an Inspection Work Center.

Associate Work Zones

Work Zones are used by clients who have geographically dispersed assets, for example utility companies. They can be used by Maximo clients who have a single physical site where getting from one area to another can take time, for example an airport or a refinery or chemical plant. Work Zones are used by anyone that wishes to reduce travel time. 

You may have several work zone types, the purpose for the work zone. For example, a water utility may have work zone types for above ground assets, below ground assets, and leak detection. The Work Zone Type is an ALN domain called WORKZNTYPE. A location or asset can only reference one work zone for each work zone type and this association is made from the Work Zones tab in the Locations and Assets applications. A List tab action can make the association to multiple locations or assets as shown on the right.

Labor and crew can be associated with multiple work zones, but only one work zone can be designated their default. Facility Management companies may group the shops and offices for their customers into work zones to reduce the number of times an engineer who lives in the work zone is called out to work in another adjacent work zone, and to try and eliminate the times they are assigned to work orders in work zones for which they have not been associated.

Work Zones are used in the Assignments tab of the Work Order Tracking application in the Available Labor and Available Crews dialogs where labor and crew are filtered by the work zone of the location or asset on the work order, with the asset’s work zone taking priority. You can receive a warning when assigning outside of the default work zone of the labor or crew with a setting made in the Organizations application, Work Order Options, and the action Other Organization Options – the field is called ‘Warn if Assigned Outside of Work Zone?’ . Work Zones are also used by the Maximo Scheduler application Graphical Assignment.

Associate Time Zone

You use time zones if work is performed in different time zones. For processes like calculating a target start date/time for a work order generated from a PM the time when the work should be performed is important. If you want work to start at 08:00 you do not want it to appear as 02:00 if the Maximo server’s time zone is in Europe and the work is performed on the East coast of USA or Canada.

The Associate Time Zone action is available in the Locations and Assets application, and it can be used from the List tab to set the time zone for a selected set of locations or assets. To use this from the List tab you must use the Select Records otherwise you will receive the message ‘BMXAA9065I – No records were selected from the list. Select the Select Records check box and select one record to associate with a time zone.’. You can set the time zone on an individual location or asset record, but this would be unusual, more likely you would use it to view the current time zone as the Time Zone is not displayed on the Location or Assets applications.

The dialog which associates the time zone with the selected records, is shown on the right, it can also Remove Time Zone from those records. This same dialog will also be found from the List tabs of the Routes and Preventive Maintenance applications. A similar dialog will be found in the Organizations application and a button on the Sites table window.

The time zones associated with a location, asset, site, or route are used by a Time Zone Rule and a Process for which there is one called PMWOGEN . The associated Process Rule determines the order in which the fields are searched to derive a time zone to apply during work order generation. For example, use the time zone associated with the asset, otherwise use the time zone associated with the location.

The time zone does not exist in the LOCATIONS or ASSET objects but in an object called RECORDTIMEZONE. You could display the current time zone on a location or asset record by using the relationship and attribute notation RECORDTIMEZONE.TIMEZONE.

Thank you for watching 

I hope you have enjoyed this episode on Location and Asset Associations and found it useful and thank you for watching. We would like to see you back in our next episode when we will review Asset Moves and Asset Swaps. 

Don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button, and you can use the Notifications button to receive an alert when the next episode has been published.

The music track is called Busy City from the group called TrackTribe, do check them out on tracktribe.com, all one word. 

Until another time, Goodbye.

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